What would Latin Music Week be without a legend like Daddy Yankee?
On Wednesday, September 22, the reggaeton pioneer touched down in Miami to sit down with Billboard VP/Latin Music Lead Leila Cobo for The Superstar Q+A with Daddy Yankee Presented By Samsung Galaxy.
During their conversation, Yankee touched on multiple different topics, sharing stories from his come-up, reflecting on his role in creating reggaeton, and offering career advice for the next generation. He also provided an update on his upcoming album, which will be his first in nearly a decade.
“I’m still working on it. No pressure. We’re almost at the end,” The Billboard cover star said about the highly-anticipated project. “When it‘s ready, I’ll let you guys know.”
Of course, as we wait for the new music, Daddy Yankee still has a lot going on. The album’s lead single, “Problema” just sailed past one billion streams--plus, he’s executive producing a documentary on reggaeton.
“That’s where I see me growing – an executive producer of movies, documentaries,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Yankee emphasized just how much talent still matters in the music industry, pointing out that two of the biggest songs of his career were collaborations with artists who weren’t on hot streaks at the time: “Despacito” with Luis Fonsi and “Con Calma” with Snow.
“I’m always grateful to Fonsi for making me part of that song. Our friendship is what made that happen,” the reggaetonero recalls. “When I saw Fonsi and the musical impact, I felt happy at what we were able to achieve, and he was able to bring his career back up. It‘s a lesson. You don’t have to record with a new talent – you can still create really big things.”
When “Con Calma” hit, Yankee admits, “Nobody was thinking about Snow, but I said, ‘let’s do it’”
“We gotta work with new and established talent,” he continued. “That’s the goal: Just work with talented people. It’s not just recording with hot artists – which is nice and good – but do things that are unpredictable. Two of the biggest hits of my career were with people that were underestimated. This is what happens when you underestimate a talent: You give them power.”
He reiterated that same sentiment later in the conversation, urging his fellow musicians not to worry about staying relevant.
“Music doesn‘t have age. It’s infinite. That‘s my philosophy,” he said. “There are legends that continue to make music for the love of it. I focus on enjoying the journey and the process. I don’t have a formula. We make the beat, the rhythm, and from there we continue. And if it doesn‘t land, there’s always next time: ‘If they like it, great. If not, we‘ll work harder for the next one.’”
Check out more from Daddy Yankee’s Q+A at Billboard Latin Music Week 2021 up above.